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How we spent our summer

You don’t need us to tell you that 2020 has been a year like no other. Kids Up Front Ottawa, like many community organizations, has faced new challenges. We saw our main source of programming halted as venues closed their doors and postponed events.

Respecting our core values of fun, collaboration, integrity, inclusion and agility our team quickly pivoted our community support. We found new experiences for kids and families to enjoy and even launched a brand new program.

Read on to learn all about what we’ve been up to over these past summer months.

Online experiences

Artwork completed by a camper at the Ottawa Art Gallery’s At-Home Summer Camp.

Our vision is a world in which all kids have access to enriching experiences. As school, extracurriculars, and summer camps moved online, so did our program. We were able to connect our Partner Agencies with incredible virtual camps, cooking classes, language lessons and more. Donations we received include:

We’re grateful to these generous donors, who recognize the importance of virtual experiences in building connections and reducing social isolation.

In-person experiences

Two ticket recipients preparing for a Pirate Life Adventure.

As restrictions on gatherings began to lift, Kids Up Front program members were able to enjoy in-person events following important safety measures. Some noteworthy experiences include:

  • Two young agents learned all about espionage at The Diefenbunker’s Code Making and Breaking Spy Camp;
  • Adventure on the high sea greeted 50 swashbucklers with Pirate Life Theatre’s Pirate Adventure;
  • A national experience as our Edmonton chapter welcomed five Ottawa families to their Virtual Scavenger Hunt right in participants’ home neighbourhood.
  • A concert experience for 4 families, attending Kidsfest and Splash’N Boots at The Drive in Experience.

We were thrilled to provide these safe in-person experiences for children and families – a gradual return to our usual programming.

Kids at Home

Our newest program is a national effort with a truly equitable reach. Kids at Home is our virtual platform for connecting kids with engaging online activities. With just a few clicks kids have been coding, cooking, performing, exercising, building and attending virtual summer camps.

Kids at Home has become a game-changer for our Partner Agencies and kids across Canada. With thousands of weekly visitors our program has expanded to include an exciting range of meaningful experiences. Our partners are eager to see this program continue, even after we’ve returned to our favourite Kids Up Front venues.

This August Kids Up Front Ottawa expanded Kids at Home, launching our Summer Activity Passport. This interactive guide compiled Ottawa’s finest landmarks, reopened venues, and natural locations. For families preferring to stay at home we recommended online activities and games to enjoy with the family. Our Summer Passport had over 500 visitors, creating countless memories!

You can help us continue to support our Partner Agencies with Kids at Home by making a donation.

Moving Forward

While 2020 has presented its share of challenges, we also have reason to celebrate. Kids Up Front carried tremendous momentum forward from 2019, expanding our network of Partner Agencies and raising our program’s community profile. We were on pace to surpass $1,000,000 in total in-kind ticket distributions after only 3 years. You can read about these highlights and more in our 2019 / 2020 Annual Report.

We remain committed to serving our Partner Agencies and kids across Ottawa. We are excited to continue delivering our Kids at Home program and finding unique, enriching experiences for deserving children.

How you can help